Chapter 266: Cross at the sight of her
As the crowd parted, Han Yunxi saw the tall and lofty figure up front and gave a start.
It was actually him, Long Feiye!
Her mind turned blank from disbelief. She stared at him for a long time before her lips curved into a mocking grin. She had to still be unconscious in a dream. Otherwise, why would that familiar figure suddenly show up in a public place like this? He would rather avoid all that trouble! Was it because her heart hadn't really given him up? That's why she was dreaming about him? Han Yunxi didn't dare to follow that train of thought. She simply looked at him from a distance, not moving a muscle. A part of her wanted to wake up from this dream and keep hurrying forward, while the other part feared waking up and seeing this all disappear.
Long Feiye, how about you don't move, either? Just stand there until the end of the world, won't you?
As soon as Long Feiye had spotted Han Yunxi, he'd taken a large step forward, a joyful look on his usually expressionless face. But very quickly, he forced himself to stop. He had been this close to rushing over and pulling that woman into his arms, but he still managed to notice the white robes draped over her shoulders. At a glance, he recognized them as the white-robed man's outer robes. Although Jun Yixie had been injured, it would've been impossible for Han Yunxi to overwhelm him alone. If she had been rescued by any of his men or the medical academy's forces, they would have come to report the news much earlier.
How did this woman get back? Did that white-robed man save him? Why did the white-robed man lead them to the Xuan gold door, and how did he find the switch to open it when the flesh-eating rats were attacking them? He had the skills to escape against these rats, but why did he overuse his inner energy to save Han Yunxi? If he was really here for the poison beast, why had he disappeared as soon as they entered the chamber?
There were too many suspicions in Long Feiye's mind, but the most important one dealt with Han Yunxi's identity. Was she the orphan of West Qin? The person that the Shadow Clan had to protect? He had already found clues to Lady Tianxin's identity by searching within Medical City, but he never thought that woman might have connections to the West Qin imperial family. That was the last thing he wanted.
Amidst the crowd of hundreds, the two of them stood at a distance and stared at each other.
"Qin Wangfei, you've finally come back! So you weren't kidnapped after all!" Lady Lianxin suddenly broke the silence. Her words were giving Han Yunxi a death sentence, because if she was late without being kidnapped, then she had lost for sure. Only then did Long Feiye recover from his chaotic thoughts. He buried all his feelings in his heart as his face resumed its usual frigid expression.
"Han Yunxi, what are you spacing out for? Still not coming over?" he asked, his tone impatient. This fellow was always saying the same things with the same cold expression to shatter her beautiful dreams.
Han Yunxi calmed herself and peered at him carefully to make sure he wasn't hurt from the Sky Pit. Then she took large strides forward. She had no idea what the situation was here, nor why he had shown up.
"Your Highness, why did you come?" she said after bowing in greeting. Since this was a public setting, she had to cooperate with him to act out this play. But unlike before, her gaze didn't move to meet his eyes. A complicated look flashed past Long Feiye's eyes when he noticed, but he didn't reveal his feelings. He looked at her loftily from above, inspecting her from head to toe. Besides the blood on the white robes draped across her shoulders, there was no sign of any other injuries.
"Rise. What's happened to you? Why is there blood on your lordship's clothes?" In the silence, his lowered voice had no emotion whatsoever, but it was very clear and distinct. Everyone could hear his words.
Perhaps Han Yunxi's arrival had been too sudden, but it was only after Long Feiye's words did everyone notice that Han Yunxi was covered in a set of men's robes. Han Yunxi herself only realized it now as well. She had come in too much of a hurry to realize that these outer robes had found their way to her again. They had given her a sense of safety when she was feeling most afraid. If not for the white-robed man, she trusted that her entire life would be over.
If a woman showed up with a man's clothing under such wretched conditions, anyone would think negative thoughts, right? Everyone was still sorting their thoughts, but Long Feiye had been meticulous enough to use a single line to shield her from any rumors and slanders from here on. Still, how was Han Yunxi supposed to explain why "Long Feiye's robes" ended up on her body? Her eyes drooped as she thought it over.
"As things stand, Your Highness Duke of Qin ran into Qin Wangfei beforehand?" Lady Lianxin immediately found a weak point.
At this moment, Tang Li walked out from the crowd with a sneer on his face. "Fifth Elder, it was precisely my household's lordship that rescued Qin Wangfei during her previous kidnapping. If we really relied on the medical academy to save her, we'd probably still be looking by now, wouldn't we?" He gave a meanginful glance at Han Yunxi as he spoke, before turning to bow respectfully towards Long Feiye.
"To report to Your Highness, this subordinate discovered esteemed wangfei in the west side of the city, but the bandit who captured her escaped. May Your Highness mete punishment!"
If anyone from the Tang Clan saw their young clan head Tang Li being so servile now, would they disdain him?
Hidden in the crowd, Duanmu Yao's face had turned green from anger. She only knew that Tang Li was Long Feiye's good friend, but nothing about his origins. She mused that she had to find a way to get rid of such an annoying guy!
Long Feiye nodded and waved his hand, signalling that Tang Li should withdraw. Their act of master and servant didn't trouble either party at all. The way Tang Li looked at Long Feiye clearly gave people the wrong impression that he was inferior to the other man. Tang Li quietly retreated to one side. There was no helping it, that fellow naturally had an overpowering aura about him.
"So it seems that Your Highness Duke of Qin has been personally protecting Qin Wangfei this entire time. As long as Qin Wangfei has returned safely, it's good! It's good!" Fourth Elder said with a smile. It seemed like a careless remark, but the words raised a great wave in many people's hearts. Between all the real and false rumors, they'd seen and heard with their own eyes today how His Highness Duke of Qin had taken this woman to heart. Long Feiyie didn't dispute Fourth Elder's words, but neither did he admit them. He only remained silent.
Han Yunxi had long grown used to this. He was always silent when it came to her. It looked like he tactily agreed to the words, but that wasn't necessarily the case. She knew Long Feiye's true motives for coming to Medical City better than anyone else. Too lazy to think on it deeply, Han Yunxi wished they could change the topic already. She was a smart woman, so Tang Li's words just then had helped her understand everything.
She looked at Third Elder with a grin and adopted her usual self-confidence again. "Third Elder, you didn't think I was trying to escape punishment for my crime and escaped, did you?"
Long Feiye already said last night that it was the medical academy's lack of security that caused Qin Wangfei to be kidnapped. Even if she was late, it couldn't count as her loss, so they had to wait. If Third Elder insisted on the details of coming "on time," then Long Feiye would definitely force the medical academy to take responsbility. Third Elder was completely helpless. Add that to his sleepless night and fruitless attempts to diagnose Long Tianmo's illeness, and he was too tired to even create difficulties for Han Yunxi anymore.
"How could I misunderstand? Haven't we all waited for you until now?" Third Elder put on a false smile.
Han Yunxi wore a cold smile in her own heart, but she was too lazy to waste time talking to this lot. "I'll re-examine His Highness first, then explain the cause of his chronic ailment flaring up again." All she wanted to do was save the man and leave.
But Long Feiye spoke up instead. "Apparently, Third Elder has been treating him all last night. I believe there's no need for Qin Wangfei to re-examine the patient, correct?"
This...this was clearly asking a sarcastic question while knowing the answer! Third Elder was furious. He'd already given the Duke of Qin face, but couldn't that man leave him a little dignity in turn?
Outsiders saw this as Long Feiye stepping on Third Elder's face to get revenge for Han Yunxi. However, those who knew the truth about the Bone Poison understood that Long Feiye was helping Han Yunxi out of a predicament. There had been no hide nor hair of the poison beast, so Han Yunxi had to be keeping up a front. Right now, her choice should be to use Long Feiye's help and retreat from her position. Naturally, Han Yunxi understood that Long Feiye was helping her too, but she didn't need it.
Actually, there was no need for him to show up. Even if she had to gamble her life, she'd make sure not to lose face for him or the Duke of Qin's estate. On her first day in the Duke of Qin's estate, Grand Concubine Yi had said that her every word and action would represent the Duke of Qin and his estate. Thus, she couldn't lose face.
She'd always remembered those words!
Han Yunxi was about to speak up when a familiar voice cut in. "Since she's not late because of her kidnapping, then a re-examination is mandatory! Your Highness Duke of Qin, this is a bet after all! All of these people are waiting, so there's no logic in telling them to forget about it. This princess personally took a trip to the medical academy to see after hearing the news."
It was Duanmu Yao!
Han Yunxi whirled back to see that Duanmu Yao inexplicably standing on one side, looking at her with a provoking gaze. This woman. If Long Feiye hadn't saved her, would she be standing safely here today? Jun Yixie would've thrown her to the flesh-eating rats long ago.
Had Long Feiye brought her here?
Though she hadn't complained, Long Feiye had saw her cooperating with Jun Yixie with his own eyes. She could forget it if he simply saved her life, but now he was leaving her at his side as well? Han Yunxi's gaze turned cold as her heart heaved with loathing. She was really angry now! Despite this, Duanmu Yao didn't show any weakness before her stare. Jun Yixie already said that there was no antidote for Long Tianmo's poison. Moreover, Han Yunxi hadn't found the poison beast either. Long Feiye had tried to help her with his act, but it was a pity that they couldn't trick her with the rest of the people! Even if senior brother got angry today, she was going to dismantle their farce. What she wanted her senior brother to see most of all was how Qin Wangfei made a fool of herself!
"Third Elder, are you planning to leave it at that as well? Heheh, isn't this a big advantage for Third Elder?" Though her remarks sounded like a joke, Duanmu Yao was actually spurring Third Elder to action. With his status, a defeat like this was a great loss of face. But if he actually retreated, then he'd become a subject for ridicule instead.
From his point of view, all Third Elder wanted to do was to patch up a quarrel. But from the perspective of the Council of Elders and the medical academy, he had to be generous and lose in good taste to be seen as magnanimous. He ignored Duanmu Yao to look at Han Yunxi before giving her a clear invitation with his hands. "Qin Wangfei, Tianning's crown prince is right inside. Please go ahead."
Duanmu Yao looked with amusement at Han Yunxi, eagerly anticipating her reaction. Her smile was filled with deep meaning. "Qin Wangfei, your poison skills are so formidable. You won't lose face for His Highness Duke of Qin, will you?"
Han Yunxi was going to go inside anyways, but these words completely incensed her! Today, she was going to clean up this Duanmu Yao for good. Not for Long Feiye's sake, but for the sheer fact that her existence really left her in a bad mood!